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US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden 616

Posted by timothy
from the you-bunch-of-sweet-talkers-you dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The WSJ reports that Attorney General Eric Holder promises Edward Snowden won't be tortured or face the death penalty in a new letter hoping to persuade Russia not to grant him asylum or refugee status. Holder's letter, dated Tuesday, notes that press reports from Russia indicated Snowden sought asylum in part based on claims he could be tortured or killed by the US government. It is common for the US to promise not to seek the death penalty against individuals being sought in other countries, because even America's closest allies won't turn over suspects if they believe that person might be executed. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture found Bradley Manning's detention was 'cruel and inhuman'." Update: 07/27 13:15 GMT by T : Several readers have noted that change.gov, established by the Obama transition team in 2008, has recently (last month) gone offline; among other things, it contained language specifically addressing the protection of whistleblowers.
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US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:28AM (#44398581)

    Get it? They said OR, so that's not a lie.

  • by scarboni888 (1122993) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:28AM (#44398583)

    Waterboarding was torture in Vietnam.

    But not anymore!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:33AM (#44398607)

    I would consider imprisonment and ruining his life just for doing the right thing to be a form of torture.

  • by Shadowmist (57488) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:34AM (#44398615)
    Those Romanians who are holding him for us.... What were they thinking?!!
  • by dns_server (696283) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:35AM (#44398621)

    The USA does not need to do the torture, it can send the person to another country and have them do it.

  • Fool me once .. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:36AM (#44398627)

    First off we Snowden should get the Nobel of Peace . HIs actions revealed Government wrongdoings like Ellsberg did 40 years ago.
    They are heroes to the People . The Government is the traitor and criminal here .. not Snowden.
    Second : the fact a Government promises not to torture of kill someone is a sign that things are gone terribly wrong.
    Torture and murder are now " normal course of business " for the US Government. Democracy is dead.Government out of control.
    Nothing will keep Snowden from assasination.Extreme right wing nutjobs ( yes , right wing republicans ) will subsidise hit men to kill him.
    There's few chances for him to stay alive . To be promised not to be murdered or tortured , but a life in jail for blowing the whistle on illegal and reprehensible Government conduct is totally immoral. Democracy is dead in the US . The land of Freedom ? HA ! Let me laugh.
    Anyone saying " ok i go back " would be a total fool and idiot.

  • hollow promise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:42AM (#44398657)

    Our government refuses to admit that waterboarding, sleep-deprivation, and blasting a person with loud music for days on end are "torture". So them claiming they won't "torture" someone is a pretty weak commitment.

  • by boorack (1345877) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:43AM (#44398665)
    Obama promised not to scramble jets to get Snowden and two days later he forced a presidential plane down on suspicions that Snowden might be onboard. Of course, technically he didn't lie as he did this by his european puppet proxies. Eric Holder is even worse than Obama - overtly corrupt [huffingtonpost.com] as contrasted to typical politicians who at least try to look honest. If he says he "won't torture nor kill", this is propably on the table. US of A desperately wants to make an example of Snowden - even if it will be messy and incur severe political costs. Those fucks want to prevent future whistleblowers by setting example now painful it is to have spine and resist criminal behavior of US government or US corporations.
  • by flogger (524072) <non@nonegiven> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:46AM (#44398685) Journal
    Is the American government so oppressive that if you speak the Truth, people assume that the government will kill and/or torture you? The government has to step up and say, "We will not Kill or torture."

    Freedom of Speech is only one of the freedoms which is gone. People know it. Yet nothing is being done to bring them back.

    Snowden is my hero for saying the Truth. Emerson and Thoreau would be proud. Snowden's name is going to come up when I teach Transcendentalism to this year's students.

    That last sentence made me thing of posting AC, but I now have the strength to speak the truth also.
  • Fool me once.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RenHoek (101570) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @08:54AM (#44398705) Homepage

    Really, what are the promises of the US worth nowadays?

  • The government of the USA wants to reduce the likelihood of more whistle-blowers exposing what they are really up to. The best way to do this is to show to any potential whistle-blowers that if they do then their life will not be pleasant: a boring, long, incaceration is the best way of doing this; it will put most people off.

    Edward Snowden is a celebrity at the moment, being in the public eye will be attractive to some, regardless of the reality of living in an airport (or sofa in the Ecuadorian embassy in the case of Assange). If Snowden is killed or tortured he will be seen as a martyr, again this may be attractive to some. I am not saying that this is for everyone, but it may put some attention seekers off (I am not trying to imply that Snowden is an attention seeker).

    Also: by making the no kill/torture promise it raises the bar for Snowden's various applications for political assylum.

  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:03AM (#44398743) Journal

    Our fellow citizens take an awful lot lying down. I wish they wouldn't. Why are Too Big To Fail banks still in business in one piece, and not broken up? The social conservatives are especially aggravating. Get all worked up over abortion, and even totally fake issues like whether global warming is just a big hoax to get more public funding for climate scientists, and "teach the controversy" over Creationism and Evolution, while failing to see any difference between science and propaganda, and letting these white collar thieves walk.

    Education is thought to be crucial for a democracy to function. If these US citizens aren't just plain stupid, they certainly are lacking a good education. To fall for idiotic notions such as the proposal to secure the US-Mexico border with 300,000 guards, after the recent lesson we had in Iraq over the limits of brute, military force... well, we'll never educate everyone well enough to see through such attempts at manipulation, but a few more could be enough to tip the US into taking much better directions.

  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sique (173459) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:06AM (#44398755) Homepage
    So because you suffered because of 9/11 you are allowed no longer to adhere to law?
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:08AM (#44398767) Homepage

    1. The US should not have to be in a position where they are making such promises. The Eighth Amendment was created specifically to put a stop to the sort of thing that the US is now promising not to do. It's sort of like announcing, completely seriously, "I swear I'm not a murderer!" - that's usually a signal you're at least involved in something you shouldn't be.

    2. Nobody seriously believes those promises after what the US has done to Bradley Manning, Anwar Al-Awlaki, and what they tried to do to Julian Assange. When Julian Assange argued that the US could no longer be trusted to follow its own laws and promises and international commitments, that argument may have seemed ludicrous, but it is increasingly becoming common opinion. Another example of the US's lawlessness is that they convinced France to force Bolivian president Evo Morales to land so they could search his plane for Snowden, violating all sorts of diplomatic rules to do so.

    3. The US is going up against Vladimir Putin's Russia in a battle of human rights records, and losing. That's just astounding.

  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scarboni888 (1122993) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:12AM (#44398789)

    Throughout history you will find that when the American people have been well-informed they have always made the right decision.

    It's hard to make good decisions based on bad information.

  • it's a joke (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amoeba1911 (978485) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:18AM (#44398803) Homepage

    The U.S. government is already torturing Snowden by revoking his citizenship, by making threats to any country that might let him stay. Most Americans feel that Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. Yet, the government continues to treat him like a criminal. It's despicable that a government by the people for the people would not have the people's best interest in mind.

    Let's face the facts, the government in this country has become corrupt with power, and merely pointing out that the government is corrupt has become some kind of treason, yet nobody is doing anything about it. People are slowly handing over more and more power to their government.

  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fuzzums (250400) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:19AM (#44398809) Homepage

    Please, give me a break and tale a look at the statistics of deaths relates to traffic or cancer.
    I admit terrorism sound terrifying, but it is not nearly as deadly as the other two.

  • Yeah, right.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:19AM (#44398811)

    "US promises not to torture or kill Snowden." Yeah, right. They also promised they weren't spying on their own citizens until Snowden disclosed that they were. They also promise that they don't assasinate their own citizens, but maybe that missle that killed Anwar al-Awlaki fired itself. Numerous groups, including the International Red Cross have charged the US with torturing prisoners at numerous facilities, but the US denies the charges, but not the techniques used. Why? Because they have classified the techniques in question as interregation techniques, but not torture.

    So, yes, the US may promise not to torture or kill Snowden, but when the US changes the definition of torture to suit its purpose and has a recent history of outright dishonesty in related matters, why should anybody believe them? And what if Russia does turn Snowden over and the US is lying? Can Russia get Snowden back? No, of course not.

    The US may promise not to torture or kill Snowden, but actions speak louder than words. The words of the US say one thing, the actions something totally different.

  • by countach44 (790998) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:25AM (#44398841)
    Re: 3 - as much as I love that statement, I think it's more accurately viewed as Putin will talk any chance he can to stick it to the US.
  • by Aethedor (973725) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:26AM (#44398845)

    Attorney General Eric Holder promises Edward Snowden won't be tortured or face the death penalty

    Why such a promise? Can I read this as a confirmation by the USA that they've tortured other people?

  • by sasparillascott (1267058) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:26AM (#44398851)
    It's amazing how much Bin Laden changed our country, for the worse. In just a few years we openly torture (something George Washington wouldn't allow and hadn't since the founding of the country), publicly kill Americans and others and of course spy on the entire population.

    He may be dead, but we lost so much to the weak minded choices of our political weenies in Washington (the prior administration coming up with these awful choices and then the current one not stopping them so the become "the new normal" in perpetuity - its amazing what he changed our country into via our politicians.
  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king neckbeard (1801738) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:26AM (#44398853)
    You'll be modded into oblivion because you are a fucking moron. The deaths on 9/11, while tragic and meaningless, were statistically insignificant. You could save orders of magnitude more lives by applying the military, DHS, NSA, etc. budgets towards medical research or into self-driving cars or environmental research. That's assuming that the methods deployed by the above are effective, when they are most likely aggravating the problems they are meant to solve. So, you are calling people traitors because they don't want invasive, expensive programs that endanger our lives because "something must be done about 9/11, this is something, so we must do this.."
  • Shameful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:36AM (#44398881)

    >"US Promises Not To Kill Or Torture Snowden""

    I can't believe how sad it is that such a letter would ever be necessary coming from the USA. I am so ashamed to be an American since 9/11. A land where everyone is treated as a potential terrorist and the government has destroyed the Constitution the country was built on.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by woboyle (1044168) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:50AM (#44398961)
    Agree. They'll just put him in prison with a bunk mate that is a total psychopath and let him torture/murder Snowden - plausible deniability!
  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:02AM (#44399053)

    Quite simply, Bin Laden made it clear that he wanted to facilitate attacks that would force America to spend itself into oblivion and to completely eradicate our way of life.

    He has accomplished both - with the assistance of idiots like the original poster, who is willing to just throw away every fundamental value and freedom of our society, just because some people died in a horrible and tragic event.

  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:06AM (#44399079)

    Saying "the citizens are powerless until money is gotten out of politics" is a red herring. Money, at the end of the day, can't buy you votes without the assent of sheep who vote for whoever has the shiniest TV ad. Money only buys votes with an uneducated electorate.

    If voters really wanted to do something about this, they could.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:18AM (#44399153)

    This brings up a curious point.

    How many people here that are complaining about the government's actions voted for President Obama? How many voted for him twice?

    Of those who voted for him, especially in 2012, how do you like what he's doing to your rights under the Constitution?

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ron Goodman (465764) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:21AM (#44399165)

    I voted for him twice and am disappointed, but have to admit he is still better than the alternative.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:25AM (#44399195)

    What does voting have to do with politics? If voting could affect politics somehow it would have been outlawed a long while ago.

    Voting is in the US what it had been in the USSR for as long as it existed: A show event to pretend that the population had some sort of say. Only that the US are a damn lot better at putting on a good show.

  • Re:good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:26AM (#44399201) Homepage

    Here's a question then: Do you believe the same thing about residents of, say, rural West Virginia that you do about residents of Saudi Arabia? In West Virginia, the government with nominal control of the natural resources work in lock-step with the owners of the companies doing the extraction to oppress and marginalize their work force, using legal and extra-legal means to prevent the workers from organizing, just like Saudi Arabia. Many religious leaders in West Virginia preach a mutated and particularly intolerant form of their religion that advocates making war on those who don't believe in the same religion, just like Saudi Arabia, and some members of their congregations have gone overseas to try to fight that war. Many residents believe firmly in anti-intellectualism and are distrustful of those who provide scientific explanations for natural phenomena, just like Saudi Arabia.

    I think you're getting the point. If you don't have the same views of those West Virginians as you do of Saudis, then your real opinion is about something other than atheism versus religion.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:32AM (#44399243) Journal

    You people make me wanna puke! Ew! he is still better than the alternative... How the hell are you going to know that if you never vote for an alternative?? And fuck your lesser evil crap. There is no 'lesser' evil amongst democrats and republicans. They are a single evil on the same team.

  • Re:good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:33AM (#44399253)

    The sad part is you could already save more lives by simply dumping the aforementioned budgets into oblivion, because that funding alone costs more lives than any alleged or real terrorism did in the last few decades together.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:35AM (#44399263)

    But not anymore!

    What I find amazing is that the charge sheet hasn't changed: Treason. Section 3, Article 3, of the US Constitution prescribes a very specific punishment for that accusation, which to my knowledge the US Attorney General can't countermand. But that aside, it would not be without precident to say that once a political prisoner is lured out of hiding, they Darth Vader the agreement... just about every country has done that.

    The other countries of the world understand that you don't judge a country on the quality of its rhetoric, but on its past actions, when predicting what it will do in the current (or future) situations. The US has no credibility these days. It's not even a question of whether I think my own government is sincere or not anymore... it's a question of reputation and perception internationally.

    Your post is short, but this is the heart of the matter: Reputation, not law.

  • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @10:41AM (#44399307) Journal

    I think it's pretty fucking sad when the US is obliged to promise explicitly, on a recurring basis, not to torture people.

    Worse it's a pointless exercise. When your definition of torture excludes things like water boarding and sleep deprivation any promise not to torture is clearly meaningless.

  • Re:it's a joke (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quacking duck (607555) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:03AM (#44399453)

    The U.S. government is already torturing Snowden by revoking his citizenship, by making threats to any country that might let him stay.

    The US government and some allies are already doing a fine job of redefining "torture" to exclude certain acts, don't water it down by trying to include actions that aren't. Revoking a passport and threatening potential host countries are causing stress and sleepless nights, but does not fit the definition of psychological torture any more than hunting down any other high-profile suspect (freezing assets, BOLOs or APBs, pictures on wanted posters).

    To qualify as psychological torture, the US would at least need to threaten reprisals against his family, friends or former girlfriend if Snowden didn't return to the US.

  • by Shadowmist (57488) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:10AM (#44399511)

    I am not trying to imply that Snowden is an attention seeker

    But you know damn well that he is.

    He damm well better be. What's the point in exposing secret bugging on the planet if you're not going to bring it to everyone's attention? Because attention is the kryptonite to people who'd rather remain in shadow.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:21AM (#44399607) Journal

    You're just watching a show of 'opposition'. Try looking behind the facade. One side works to scare you into voting for the other. Back and forth it goes. In fact, in North Carolina the similarities are even more pronounced. Differences are superficial, at best.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:22AM (#44399617) Journal

    Holder is unquestionably the sort of human garbage that belongs in our prisons a great deal more than probably anyone he has helped put there. The larger is though is not Holder's credibility its our nations credibility in general. Why should any anywhere accept the word of the United States government for any reasons other than the threat of force at this point?

    I mean really:

    We don't give money to governments resulting from military coups....but we can decide to not bother and determine if a coup has happened.

    We only go to war when a plurality of elected Congress persons and Senators agree...Well unless is just a kinetic military action.

    No warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause...Except when a secret court issues them and then something less than reasonable suspicions appears to be good enough.

    We afford the accused a speedy trial...unless you happen to be held at GitMo

    We have a free press, which can protect its sources... unless someone says "national security" than all bets are off.

    You protected from cure and unusual punishment ... unless your name is Manning or you were sent to a CIA black site.

    Zeror fucking credibility.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Patch86 (1465427) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:29AM (#44399683)

    Just purely out of interest, who did you vote for? Which third party candidate rang your particular bell?

    And if you didn't vote because "all politicians are corrupt", you're as much a part of the problem as anyone else. More so, even; at least politicians will pay half an iota of attention to people who's votes they need- non-voters they can safely ignore forever.

  • No other promises! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by redelm (54142) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:33AM (#44399713) Homepage

    I note with interest the USG did NOT promise to hold a speedy, fair public trial. And the point is not redundant any more than torture is.

    I like to look for "negative knowledge" -- things that could reasonably have happened, and perhaps should have, but did not. Rejected options, certainly. While imperfect, this does yield insight.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:36AM (#44399735) Homepage Journal

    The US administration enabled laws to allow holding people indefinitely without trial.

    Congress and the Senate have made it clear that they don't care about the facts of the case: Snowden is guilty in their eyes.

    Snowden would be a fool to leave Russia for some small country. Russia has nukes that will make the US think twice before pulling a "Bin Laden" on him.

  • by Patch86 (1465427) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:37AM (#44399747)

    Most countries will not extradite someone if there's a chance of them getting tortured or executed. Even if the prospect is very unlikely, defendant lawyers will be able use it to block an extradition. A signed letter from a head of state/justice from a country prevents this from being used as a defence.

    All that is required is certainty that the person won't be tortured. That should not need a special letter each and every time- there should be a letter saying that we promise to never torture anyone ever, which can be used in any circumstance.

    EU countries have that- no EU country has ever been asked to sign a letter promising not to torture someone, because it is understood that extant Human Rights legislation already covers that with gusto.

    The GP is expressing sadness because the US really should be in that category. The Constitution is supposed to promise exactly that. However, it is widely understood around the world that modern America partakes in what the rest of the world defines as torture- whether it be waterboarding, or the bizarre naked-solitary-confinement that Manning has had to endure. It is, therefore, a very sad thing that despite what the US Constitution says, there is no automatic guarantee that a prisoner of the United States will not be tortured. The President now needs to "Scout's Honour" promise it on a case-by-case basis.

    (And don't get me started on the death penalty. But that's a well trodden flamefest that I don't think we need to restart here and now...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:46AM (#44399817)

    "Why Americans aren't using their 2nd amendment rights already to get rid of all these corrupt fucks is beyond me."

    I'm an American (still with the right to vote and all that). So tell me how to do what you mean to say. I'm with you 100% but I have no idea how to, as you say, use my 2nd amendment rights.

    Right now the guy is hiding, in Russia mind you, from torture and death, from Americans mind you, for simply telling the truth about how the US government is illegally operating on it's own citizens. And fucktards like you step in and spit out shit words like, "Ooo, ooo use the 2nd amendment!" Fuck that attitude. It's crazy to think that there's a legal way out of "The American Problem" by using "An American-Made Solution". Fuck man, there's secret courts, with secret judges, that enact secret laws that are then forced on US citizens and forced to remain secret, or you get in trouble (AKA exactly what Snowden is experiencing right now). The American people have no rights, even if it's simply because they're faces are folded to the floor staring at their phones. Getting their frustrations out on facebook or slashdot is enough for them to feel that they did all that they could, and now it's time to go back to being awesome.

    Fuck the 2nd amendment, people should be quitting their jobs, and focusing more on localizing their government and food supply. Throw this government out the same way Gandhi did, ignore them. Russia is doing the right thing by simplysaying "We don't extradite anyone, for anything".

  • by aepervius (535155) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:09PM (#44399999)
    "Why Americans aren't using their 2nd amendment rights already to get rid of all these corrupt fucks is beyond me."

    Because for the majority of them, nothing is wrong. For the majority of them, as long as they got their food, their work, their entertainment, all is fine. The giov reassure them, "we willg et the traitor!". Snowden is the one disturbing them , he is shaking the status quo, making them see stuff they don't want to see. So they when psyop poo-poo snowden for some minor stuff, "his girlfriend is strange and some sort of stripper" then they forget the main point and dismiss snowden. Or Manning. or anybody disturbing them in their comfortable status quo. Mind you the US is not the only one in that situation. But it is the most flagrant in the US, after they were caught torturing, killing their own citizen, spying on the whole world, lying, lying and lying even more.

    The only way the american will revolt, is if the middle and lower class get so much economic pressure that normal life get for them unviable. Then they will revolt. And their politics overlord might be stupid enough to let plutocrate of all ilk really destroy the middle and lower class enough that this will happen. But it will take at least a few more catastrophe like what happenned with the banks or 2 more decades of stagnation for the middle / low class.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:09PM (#44400003)

    of oppressing their citizens in just this way. Now, a whistleblower, who can't be proven to have revealed even one explicit state secret (beyond the rather unshocking fact that they were being surveilled) to a foreign power is asking for asylum in Russia.

      Times change, don't they.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:21PM (#44400053)
    The really depressing part is that the Eigth Amendment should be better than a provision to not torture, as 'cruel and unusual punishment' is arguably much broader than 'torture.' Torture is itself inherently cruel, but a punishment may be cruel while not being torture. Even if blasting loud annoying music at someone isn't torture, it's certainly unusual.
  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:32PM (#44400137)

    In addition: Holder said he hadn't heard about fast and furious before June of that year. Two weeks later Obama gave a speech saying he talked to Holder about the Fast and Furious program back in April.

    Thats at least 3 lies to Congress, under oath, about fast and furious alone that Holder has made.

    Technically, it's also possible that Holder lied twice and Obama lied once.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:34PM (#44400163)

    I voted for him once, but wised up (and voted third-party) the second time.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @01:01PM (#44400365)
    It's like I tell my conservative friends: Yes, I'm disappointed in Obama but looking back, I would still vote for him over Romney. However, I would have much rather had the opportunity to vote for Ron Paul.

    Obama: All bark no bite. Didn't do most of the things he said he would do if I voted form him; quite the opposite in fact.

    Romney: Religious zealotry makes him dangerous. From where I live I can see the spires of the Mormon temple that he believes Jesus will soon descend to in order to bring about 1,000 years of christly rule. How do you trust someone who believes that to have the long-term interests of my country in mind when he does not believe in long-term? Nuts for other reasons too.

    Ron Paul: Do I even have to say? He might have set us back socially in some ways, but overall worth the trade off for a long term outlook for so many reasons.
  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mendax (114116) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @01:24PM (#44400545)

    They'll just put him in prison with a bunk mate that is a total psychopath and let him torture/murder Snowden - plausible deniability!

    Bunkmate? You think he'll have a bunkmate? No, he will be put in solitary confinement after he is captured "for his own safety as well as security of the nation because of what he knows", found guilty in a trial that will be neither open nor fair because he will not be able to introduce the witnesses or evidence he'd like because of the classified nature of what he revealed, then sent to USP Florence ADMAX [wikipedia.org] where he will continue to be housed in solitary confinement for the rest of his life where he will have Robert Hanssen [wikipedia.org], the Unibomber [wikipedia.org], and various terrorists such as the shoe bomber [wikipedia.org] and the underwear bomber [wikipedia.org] as neighbors although he'll never meet them.

    Solitary confinement IS an effective form of psychological torture. It does permanent psychological damage. Eric Holder is a liar. Mr. Snowden will be tortured; there is no doubt of it. It's just that he, unlike the rest of the world, doesn't consider things like solitary confinement and water boarding to be torture.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @02:06PM (#44400841) Homepage

    There's a reason Jimmy Carter said we have no functioning democracy.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @02:10PM (#44400867)
    Well, based on your signature, it seems likely you are Libertarian. But to respond to your statement:

    Making a decision based on what you know are lies and misinformation is stupidity.

    Life is full of decision points where you have to make choices based on incomplete or suspect information. You prepare for them as best you can, and inform yourself as best you can. And sometimes delaying the decision is the best choice you can make. However the latter is never true when it comes to voting - if you haven't prepared for voting on voting day, by researching the available candidates as best you can, then you have failed to discharge your responsibilities as a citizen.

  • Re:doing the math (Score:3, Insightful)

    by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @02:44PM (#44401079)

    I voted for Obama specifically to send the message that the first election win was not a fluke - that people really did prefer a black man and a doofus (Biden) over the other party's offerings.

    I did not vote for a third party because even if everyone who wanted a third party voted third party, there are not enough votes to get that third party elected. Especially because there isn't just one third party. To have a viable third party, we all need to agree who that party is, and then be convinced that we won't accidentally vote for the worst candidate via the Nader effect.

    When you put together a viable third party ticket without viable fourth and fifth parties, on whom enough of the discontented can agree, and still loses, you can puke.

    Libertarian Party - on the ballot in 48 states and D.C., 1.2 million votes = 1%. Short of 400,000 registered members. For a 3-way split, you would need to sway 39 million other people to support it - which means roughly 67 million supporters, with 58% turnout.

    Doing the math, it is much more likely to be a spoiler vote. I don't see getting 67 million people to change their party affiliation. Let's change that to just the voters, so 39 million people. How many of those would vote for a third party if they were guaranteed not to be a spoiler vote? I think half is very generous, so you're still at convincing 20 million people. It's just not going to happen in time for the next election unless something super serious happens.

    And conveniently, Snowden is that huge thing that could change peoples' outlooks on the government and the parties. Just as conveniently, this will all be forgotten in time for the next campaign - again, unless the Libertarian party takes huge gambles on public sentiment, and wins.

    Green party got less than half of the Libertarians despite getting on the ballot in 36 states. It's even more unlikely to be a contender, and more likely to spoil the third party vote.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by greenbird (859670) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:01PM (#44401173)

    However the latter is never true when it comes to voting - if you haven't prepared for voting on voting day, by researching the available candidates as best you can, then you have failed to discharge your responsibilities as a citizen.

    If the information needed to make an informed decision is withheld from me I can't prepare nor can I make an informed decision. Again I reiterate, making a decision based on known bad information is stupidity. It's willfully blindly following the status quo. It's also radically different than making a decision based on incomplete or suspect information. Present me with a candidate with some credibility and maybe I'll vote for them. Hell, at this point I may even vote for them based on that alone even if I disagree with what they support. Obama preached for government openness and transparency when we was running for election. He pledged to increase protection for whistle blowers who exposed government malfeasance. Like a perfect example of Orwell's Double Speak all those pledges have disappeared from where he had them published.

    I posit that the above quoted statement proves my point. A good citizen votes for someone. Even if all the choices are all pretty much equally bad. That's buying into the propaganda.

    A hereditary monarchy is better than a democracy based on lies and propaganda. At least then you have a chance of getting a good government.

    Hitler was initially voted into power. That's how things can turn out when you vote based on misinformation and propaganda. Sadly it's really starting to look like the US may be heading down that same road.

  • by Scarletdown (886459) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:28PM (#44401359) Journal

    Am I the only one here who finds it odd that our government officials specifically pointed out that Snowden would not be tortured? Is that not something that should not have even had to be said? Sounds like anyone who was involved in preparing this public statement should now come under investigation on suspicion of torturing prisoners, since it sounds like they are implying that torture is perfectly normal here despite being a blatant violation of the Eight Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by greenbird (859670) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:23PM (#44402067)

    The point is, if you don't show up, your "vote" will be read as apathy and passive consent.

    No, the point is by showing up and voting you're providing active consent and support for a system that I believe is no longer working. I'd rather have some delusional simpleton misinterpret my actions than perform actions that actively show support for their delusions.

    You do realize, the Soviet Union had and China, Cuba and North Korea all have elections. And voter turnout is higher than it is in the US (100% in North Korea). There are reasons [jstor.org] for having elections where governments rule by fiat. Voting isn't some magic power. Not voting in a system where voting doesn't really effect the system is a form of dissent. Voting is showing support for the system.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:58PM (#44402251)

    No, the point is by showing up and voting you're providing active consent and support for a system that I believe is no longer working.

    You are actively supporting the system by actively stepping aside and letting others make the choice. You are worse that the person who votes for a 3rd party they really don't want as a "none of the above" vote. If everyone disgusted with the system voted nest vote for anyone other than a Republicrat, then the system would change in a few months. If everyone disgusted with the system stayed home, the system would *never* change. That's sufficient proof that your method is broken.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dcherryholmes (1322535) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @09:51PM (#44403451)

    "Compare either or both of them to say, the Libertarian party and you'll see what actual differences are."

    Yes, the first two look sane. Libertarians are the flip side of Marxists. Nice dorm-room wankfests, but utter train wrecks in the real world.

  • Re:Eric Holder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @01:50AM (#44404281) Homepage

    Why bother, everyone knows according to bullshit American Politicians, it isn't torture it's enhanced interrogation techniques. As far as the US is concerned, if it doesn't involve 'PERMANENT' organ damage it isn't torture, so eyeballs, testicles, are free range as long as it ain't permanent, same goes for any imaginable form of sexual assault and rape as well as of course the indiscriminate use of chemical and electro schock weapons and of course heating and cooling have a totally different meaning to the US military, more like freezing and burning. Of course listening to music takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to US government interpretations.

    US don't torture, that's has to be the most laughable document imaginable. I fucking suppose the drone missile program is also designed to be utterly painless. The Uncle Tom Obama painless 'Hellfire Missle' no with local anaesthetic coatings. As for even pretending to hold fair trials, I have never heard of any government to be as ignorantly stupid as to position military police behind each and every reporter at a trial and claim it to be fair. Seriously the US has long ago drifted into the realms of autocratic Nazi style military law, when it comes to who is innocent and who is guilty, a total fantasy.

    Seriously what US politician would be so stupid, so publicly shameless as to put their name to a document like that and not expect to be laughed at globally.

  • Re:doing the math (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Internetuser1248 (1787630) on Sunday July 28, 2013 @05:49AM (#44405023)
    Not only this, but as someone who has lived in countries with systems designed to encourage small parties (NZ, DE), I have seen the difference it can make. The third parties almost never get into government (it can happen, but it is not the point of voting for them), instead what happens is the bigger parties change their policies to try to capture the votes off them. We have two big parties that are within a few percentage points of each other. One election some newcomers calling themselves the pirate party suddenly get a few percent of the vote after being basically unheard of until then. Their platform is based on internet neutrality. The media starts talking about internet neutrality. The big parties start wondering if it would be clever to start developing internet neutrality policies in order to pull those few percent. Those few percent would help big party X get ahead of big party Y, and wouldn't effect their current voter base much. Suddenly the small party has changed government policy without even getting into power.

    If a third party candidate in the US got 10% of the vote, the entire political campaign system would shift into a new gear and start trying to pander directly to those 10%.

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